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The bearing of biological fitness in humans and crops upon the emergence and spread of agriculture

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DOI: 10.4236/ns.2013.54A001    3,304 Downloads   5,901 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Past studies discussing the origins of agriculture have mainly emphasized changes in environmental and human-behavior factors as possible explanations for the shift from foraging to farming. This paper focuses on how increase in the biological fitness of both farmers and crops enabled the rapid evolution and success of farmers and agriculture. It is shown that the first plants under domestication achieved their superior fitness mainly as a consequence of some of their genetic and life-history traits. It led these species to be extensively integrated into human subsistence and eventually dominate the farmers’ fields. Concurrently, the first farmers gained their enhanced fitness by producing food surplus and by acquiring extra social prestige and power, while materializing the tendency to higher reproduction rate, and eventually to the expansion of farming populations. The unbreakable dependence between high fitness crops and high fitness man, namely their coevolution is a key issue and a promising research area in the understanding of the human story and the origins of agriculture.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Rottenberg, A. (2013) The bearing of biological fitness in humans and crops upon the emergence and spread of agriculture. Natural Science, 5, 1-6. doi: 10.4236/ns.2013.54A001.

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